Photo Tour: Christmas at Disneyland!

I am often asked why I don’t do more (OK, any) trip reports on Disneyland, since we’re locals and visit quite often. The short answer is, Walt Disney World trip reports just seem like they have more interesting ground to cover. (The long answer is have you SEEN how long it takes me to write up an annual trip to WDW?!! Imagine how much farther behind I’d be on monthly trips to Disneyland!)

But I thought you guys might be interested in photos from our first trip to Disneyland and Disney California Adventure for the holiday season, so here they are… ALL of them. I’ll do a separate post of our experience with the Holiday Time tour, and one for Disneyland’s Candlelight Processional after we actually go (last weekend’s got rained out).

Today’s Part I is all daytime photos at Disneyland. In Part II you’ll see evening photos from Disney California Adventure, including the neon delights of Cars Land. Enjoy!

Since they turned Big Thunder Ranch into an overpriced BBQ, they’ve had to find a new home for the Christmas activities (cookie-decorating, entertainment, Santa meet-and-greet, crafts, etc.), and the Festival Area fits the bill.

I sure hope these Monte Cristo Bites taste better than they look!

Word of Warning: If you’re anti-marzipan, you’ll be as disappointed as I was to discover they’ve started putting almond extract in the decorate-your-own cookies. Blech!

Looks like Comet likes a challenge!


While I blithely slathered frosting on a cookie that was about to surprise and dismay me with its almond-flavored awfulness, Patrick went over to “it’s a small world” to shoot reference photos. Hope you like detail, and plenty of it!

EXTREME closeup!!!

I’m telling you, there’s a fortune to be made in Small World-themed house numbers!

Who let the dolls out?

The garland you see with the colorful plastic ornaments used to be put on the boats, too. I suspect they ditched it because guests delighted in collapsing the ornaments within arm’s reach. This is why we can’t have nice things!

FINALLY, we moved on…!

Sorry… it’s the only way to get the whole thing in one shot!

It was interesting to see the setup for Candlelight Processional in Town Square. When Candlelight only happened on one weekend, we avoided Disneyland like the plague, figuring it would be as crowded and messy as it is when they tape the Christmas parade or premiere a movie. I’d never even seen how they set it up, but already I was liking it way more than the setup in America Gardens Theater at Epcot. Talk about a great backdrop!

OK the, uh, pulpit where the narrator stands looks a bit like we’re at a Christmas funeral to me…

OK, here’s a teaser shot of what the setup looks like after dark—so pretty!

Up Next: Holiday Time Tour, Christmas at California Adventure, and Disneyland’s Candlelight Processional!

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8 Responses
  • Carla
    December 12, 2012

    For a bunch of reasons, we’ve never been able to get to Disney over the holidays (and the way things are shaping up, we won’t for at least the next few years), so I love looking at the photos. I was so excited to see the title of your post cause I know that Patrick will get pics of EVERYTHING, even the smallest details! Keep ’em coming!

    • Carrie
      December 12, 2012

      Detail is indeed Patrick’s specialty! 😉

  • Hope
    December 10, 2012

    Those cookies looked gross. How were the monte cristo bites? We had every intention of trying them, but didn’t. 🙁 I like how they’re making use of the Jamboree area back there and how they moved the hillbillies back there too. That line for Santa was crazy. The one over at Elias and Co. was always empty or only 5 people deep so we took our photos over there.

    I also liked the candlelight set up this year, but hated how the entire month long processional was making the parks extra crowded. I noticed that there was ample room this year for all the standby spectators so at least you don’t have as many all-day-campers on Main St. like in years past.

    • Carrie
      December 10, 2012

      I didn’t actually try the Monte Cristo bites… too scared! Yeah, the only reason we paid for the $$$ Holiday Time tour was that it came with Candlelight seats that weekend, and the only reason I wanted to pay for seats was I’d heard horror stories of having to camp out all day just for standing room. Now I’m thinking this would be the year to stand—especially if they’re moving it to DCA’s theater next year like I’ve heard.

      • Hope
        December 10, 2012

        I heard the same rumor too about it moving to DCA. I’ve seen the processional and I’ve walked past the event before, but I’ve never seen the whole show. We tried to win tickets through the AP sweepstakes, but had no luck. I’m looking forward to your play by play though (assuming you got to see Candlelight). 🙂

  • Elizabeth
    December 10, 2012

    More IASW photos please!


    • Carrie
      December 10, 2012

      Be careful what you wish for… there really are more!

      • Elizabeth
        December 11, 2012

        Bring ’em on! HA!

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